WEEK THAT WAS
DICKEY DEADHEATS WITH DICKEY: Dead heats happen but usually not horses from the same trainer. Elton Dickey’s Kodiak’s Pride (2/1) and Quantum Mechanics (8/1) deadheated in Friday’s fourth race, producing a quinella of $42.80, a 1-5 exactor of $29.60 and a 5-1 exactor of $99.10. Christopher Husbands rode Kodiak’s Pride and Rohan Singh was on Quantum Mechanics.
DUNN SUBS FOR SIDELINED CONTOIS: It was like old times at the Downs Friday and Saturday as CEO Darren Dunn stepped in as track announcer for Kirt Contois who was sidelined with a throat infection. At first, fans weren’t quite sure what they were hearing and looked at each other quizzically. Dunn even added a new line or two during his calling that he hadn’t used when he had been the regular announcer.
Rides four winners Saturday
WHITEHALL'S FOUR-BAGGER FIRST SINCE APPRENTICESHIP:
Antonio Whitehall was all smiles Saturday, not just for winning the R.C. Anderson Stakes for 3-year-old Manitoba-bred fillies on Red Jet Lightning ($4.50) but for logging his fourth win on the card. The last time he did that? In 2012, he said, when he was the leading apprentice rider in Barbados. Congrats, Antonio! He’s four wins shy of leading jockey Chris Husbands who has 38 wins.
RECORD PICK-4 POOL: A double carryover in ASD’s pick-4 produced a record $55,565 in bets into last Wednesday’s pool. The carryover going into Wednesday had been $20,606. A $1 ticket paid $4,492 after these horses won:
• Atanygivenmoment $27.10
• Taxi Joe $17.60
• About a Girl $8.80
• Nevada Time $6.80
WHITHER ARLINGTON? One has to wonder about the future of Arlington Park in the face of continued declines in handle—17 per cent since last year and 60 per cent since 2009. The decline started with the installation of Polytrack and it didn’t help that family-owned Hawthorne race track across town in Chicago touted the advantage of their dirt track over Poly. The most successful synthetic track is Woodbine and that is because, unlike Arlington, Woodbine has a nearly year-long meet and bettors follow the same horses on the same surface, with few horses coming from other tracks.
The other three synthetic North American tracks are Golden Gate, Presque Isle and Turfway. After switching from a synthetic track to dirt, Keeneland was awarded last fall’s Breeders’ Cup and Del Mar, which also returned to dirt, will hold this fall’s Breeders’ Cup races.
Al Ilott and Kaycee Hunt
AL'S OTHER PASSION: When veteran horseplayer Al Ilott, the manager of an aircraft fuelling division of an international company, isn’t being passionate about racing, he’s lauding the exceptional talent of Kaycee Hunt, 18, athlete of the year at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate, whom he is helping compete at the World Junior Ultimate Championships in Wroclaw, Poland early next month. (“Ultimate” is a substitute word for "Frisbee” which can’t be used because it’s a registered trademark.)
He said he became hooked on the fortunes of Kaycee—who graduated in June--and her sister, Kassandra, 10—who was recently chosen to be in a TV series--after being asked by their mother, Kim, to pick up Kaycee at a daycare when she was still a toddler. That was a fateful day and I have been very involved with both girls in all aspects of their lives since,” he says. The girls are frequent diners at ASD buffets. “Way to go, Al, and a Bigg boost to Kaycee in the championships!